However, to do all that, it takes constant effort.  I can't think of how many times I've wondered why there aren't more hours in the day or if could I get through the next day with little sleep.

We are busy people these days, aren't we?  We have so much on our plates - errands to run, work to do, family to support, work out, tasks to finish - personal, professional.  Sure, we can check all those things off our lists.  We accomplish so much all the time.
 
But what about the pace of always being on the go?  It can be quite a frenzy, can't it?  Sometimes we need help with that pace - Caffeine, nicotine, energy drinks/bars - lots of things to stimulate us so we can keep going. 
 
The question then becomes - are we meant to keep going all the time in the "pushing it to the limits" mode?
 
We as humans are amazing machines.  There are all kinds of things going on in our body without us even giving it a second thought - blood pumping, heart beating, mind telling you to scratch your nose (without a conscious effort), all kinds of movements.  We don't really think about it but our body, our machine, provides us with a temple to house our souls in.
 
But remember, with all machines, maintenance is needed or the machine will break down.  Sure, it can push the limits but only for so long before something stops and needs attention.  This is also true for us.  We can only push ourselves for so long before we need to stop.  And if we don't, our body finally says something like "Yeah, you're not hearing that alarm clock today." so we can get the rest we need.
 
We deal with these types of machines in our lives.  Let's take the example of a car as a machine that needs consistent maintenance.  Even 3000 miles or so, we take our car in for an oil change.  New fluids need to be put in and checked and then we are on our way so the car continues to run well.
 
We bring it in for an oil change and other maintenance because without it, we could put ourselves in a place of inconvenience (break down), a financial burden (repairs we are forced to get) or even danger (engine seizing while driving, for example).  We don't want any of this to happen so we take care of it before it becomes an issue.
 
I noticed, though, we don't do the same with ourselves.  We run fast and furious, pushing through our responsibilities and work.  If you sit and think about it, do you rest?  How do you rest?  And if you do rest, how guilty do you feel?  What is the percentage of rest vs. working?  Is it balanced?
 
Sure, there will be times in your life where balance is not possible.  But if you stay at that pace, at a minimum, the joy in your life is not as evident because you're not experiencing it as much.   You're working hard and playing isn't part of the equation.
 
Your own maintenance could be something as easy as taking 30 minutes every couple of days to read a book, taking a bubble bath, watching a show you haven't seen in a while, downloading music or other things that make you "unwind".  Find an activity that you can lose yourself in for a little while where you're not worried about the cares of the day.
 
 I know someone who plays a few hands of Texas Hold 'Em online every night.  She just gets lost in the game for a few minutes and relaxes, which allows her to let go of the day and the tasks waiting for her.  Once she starts up again, she's coming from a place of relaxation, not constant stress.  Releasing it even for a few minutes calms her down and puts her in a better place to handle things.
 
Also, take some time to look at your schedule and see places you can pencil in some relaxation.   If you put it into your task list, you may find that it's easier to take that time for you.  Don't push it to the bottom of the priority list - make it as important as brushing your teeth every day.  Even if every day isn't realistic, a few times a week is better than nothing at all.

 Finding this balance also helps you to handle both sides of life in a much easier manner.  When you rest, you have more energy to handle the stresses in your life.  Your energy is replenished so you can use it again, instead of running on an almost empty tank.


Remember, daily maintenance for you makes your machine run at optimal levels, which is what you're trying to accomplish anyway.  Take care of your machine and you will be able to accomplish all you set your mind to every day.
 
~Copyright 2010-2011, Mary D’Alba (Spiritualitygirl)~